Cookbook author Patricia Wells

Earlier today I discovered that Patricia Wells, the American-born Paris and Provence dweller, has won a James Beard award, in the International category, for her Provence Cookbook. I’ve just finished reading two of her cookbooks – At Home in Provence and The Paris Cookbook – in preparation for her bistro class this weekend at Savour New Zealand and I’m very intrigued about the food that she’s going to cook.

It’s not that I’ve had much exposure to French bistro cookery but what I have encountered while on brief visits to France – and now through Patricia’s books – has given me the inkling that this is food that I’ll enjoy. Full flavoured, seasonal and of the terrior (meaning the taste of place), bistro cooking is something that very much appeals to me.

In her books Patricia is an active supporter and promoter of small producers, giving the names and addresses of many in both Paris and Provence. We may not all be able to visit and purchase from these specific people but most of us have access to something similar in our own areas of the world. Little markets, like the St Albans Market, enable you to discover the small producers in your own locality. It’s worth exploring – without interested consumers they’re going to have a hard time of it. And who knows what you may find!



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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2 Responses

  1. Sinéad says:

    Freaky coincidence – was going to post this anyway to give you a laugh when I looked at your post for today and saw that you mentioned the man himself.From the writer’s almanac:Today (May 5th) is the birthday of the great food writer and food lover James Beard, born in Portland, Oregon, (1903). He said, “I believe that if ever I had to practice cannibalism, I might manage if there were enough tarragon around.”:)

  2. Caroline says:

    That’s a great quote! And, from what I’ve read of the man, he probably meant it too. For me it would have to be thyme, though.

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